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Housing and planning issues 'challenge' Cambridge's position as global innovation centre

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The high cost of housing and constraints on the expansion of office and laboratory space present a ‘serious challenge’ to Cambridge’s position as a global centre for innovation and development, says a new report. The report, Good growth for Cambridge from Savills, argues that the city is well-placed to take advantage of its reputation as a world leader in technology and life sciences but only with greater co-ordination between locally led-planning decisions and the delivery of national strategic infrastructure. If the government is serious about its plans to build 150,000 new homes in the city and surrounds over the next 20 years then new sites will have be identified for development, supported by new infrastructure.

Electricity, water and the provision of education, health and social care all present challenges. Yet this level of development would represent a scale of opportunity not seen since the creation of the Milton Keynes Development Corporation in the 1960s says the report. New life science and tech space will also be needed. Last year saw record demand for lab space in 2023 with 341,000 sq ft transacted – 61 per cent up on the previous high in 2019. Tom Fraser, head of office at Savills Cambridge, said: “Cambridge sits at a potential turning point, with the government recently announcing ambitions for residential and commercial development that would see the city grow faster than anywhere else in the country, but if we want any large scale expansion of Cambridge to be successful, there will need to be greater co-ordination between locally led planning decisions and the delivery of national strategic infrastructure, bringing together both the public and private sector.”

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 03 April 2024 07:34 )